Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Head to Head: Rolo vs Caramel Kisses

There are a lot of new Hershey’s Kisses out. Some of them are natural progressions of the classic milk chocolate morsel. Dark Chocolate and their sassy purple foils are one of those and of course Hugs with their almond centers. Some of the new Hershey’s Kisses sound like pre-existing products in the Hershey’s repertoire. When I heard about the Caramel Kisses, I thought, “Aren’t those just Rolos?”


Rolos have been around in the United States since 1971 and I think I remember their introduction. I also remember some of the other advertising campaigns, including the Rolo song (You can roll a Rolo to your pal/it’s chocolate covered caramel ...  you can roll a Rolo to your friend/it’s chocolate covered caramel from end to end). They’ve never held much interest for me, I enjoy eating them with other things, like pretzels or apples, but not just as a treat by themselves.


The Caramel Kisses are soft, flowing caramel in a molded chocolate shell shaped like a Kiss. Rolo is a soft but chewy caramel in a molded chocolate shell shaped like a tall disk.

The chocolate on the Caramel Kiss is sweet and likable, with a fair amount of grain and that inimitable Hershey’s tang to it . The caramel is flowing and sweet with only a slight toasted sugar note to it. The vanilla is rather chemical in nature. They’re a good size and have a good proportion to the elements.

The Rolo has a very sweet chocolate outside, with a fair amount of grain and a sort of “graham” taste to it. The caramel inside is pleasingly soft but not messy and flowing. It’s chewy without pulling on the teeth. It doesn’t have much flavor to it, not much of a toasted sugar note, but it’s smooth and milky. They smell of sugar and fake vanilla.

Frankly, neither of these candies float my boat. I know that in a Head-to-Head the battle is supposed to be fierce and the winner takes a huge prize, but I’m just not fond of either of these candies enough to purchase them again. Instead it’s one of those board games that you start and it gets so complicated or boring that you just agree to wander away.

Name: Kisses filled with Caramel / Rolo
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Sav-On
Price: $2.89 / $.33
Size: 12 ounces / 1.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135 / 124
Categories: Chocolate, Head-to-Head, Caramel, United States, Hershey's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:01 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I have to say when I heard of the Hershey’s caramel kisses I was excited, but upon tasting I thought they were really lacking. Although I used to love Rolos I have no recent taste memory. But the Hersheys cold have been a lot better with any hint of salt. For me this is what makes caramel worth continually eating.

    Comment by shuna fish on 2/14/06 at 11:48 am #
  2. Hi, I found this blog a few months ago and now I’m hooked!!! Love it!! I was just wondering if you had tried the toffee kisses when they were out…can’t find them now though..I guess they were special edition….they were amazingly good.

    Comment by Amy on 2/14/06 at 12:30 pm #
  3. awww. a rather forlorn entry from the candy queen on this candy-driven holiday. one would think the site would, like the candy aisle at SuperTarget (or even the end-caps at my local grocery), be festooned and be-ribboned with all manner of red hearts and matching sentiments. but wait - there - “on deck” - Valentines Remembered. Might there be two entries today? Oh the suspense

    Comment by tg on 2/14/06 at 12:45 pm #
  4. I love Rolos! I tried the caramel kisses and they were just BLAH. Rolos win, hand down.


    Comment by brian on 2/14/06 at 2:19 pm #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    TG - I did have some special hearty candy backgrounds for the blog, but I just didn’t get around the launching them.

    Brian - I think Rolos inch out as the marginal winner here.

    Shuna - I have to agree with the salt thing, and now that I’m trying to polish off the rest of the caramel kisses with some pretzels, it’s a pretty good mash up.

    Amy - I never saw the Toffee kisses. Dang. It’s tough with the kisses because we’re locked into buying nearly a pound and it’s harder to be adventurous. They should sell little sampler packs. Or maybe let you join up with for a Hershey’s Limited Edition of the Month Club.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/14/06 at 2:53 pm #
  6. ::sigh:: no matter how high the quality of chocolate I have, there are a few cheapo highly processed candies that will forever be ambrosia to me: york peppermint patties, milk chocolate hershey kisses, rolos, caramellos, and basic dark chocolate. I LOVE ROLOS!

    Comment by Kristen on 2/14/06 at 2:54 pm #
  7. Have you tried the cherry Kisses they had for Christmas? I was really pleased with those. Tasted just like a cherry cordial but without the cherry.

    As for Rolo vs. Kisses, I’ve always loved Rolo. Haven’t had the Kisses, but it looks like that drippy sort of caramel in a Caramello, which I really don’t like. I like chewy caramel.

    Comment by Grace on 2/14/06 at 3:07 pm #
  8. My Grandma used to take me and my brother to matinees when we were kids and make little baggies full of candy for us to bring (to avoid exhorbitant concession $$), and so Rolos will always be linked to those positive occasions in my mind.

    Comment by Cory on 2/14/06 at 3:08 pm #
  9. I pretty much enjoy any combination of chocolate and caramel (mmm… have you tried the new caramel Reese’s cups?), and strangely like the cheapo types the best.  I think the cheapo-chocolate:chewy-caramel ratio is what makes me love Rolos so much.  I’d like caramel Kisses more if there was a thicker chocolate shell, and/or if the caramel inside didn’t give me that weird twingey feeling behind my ears (I guess that’s the chemical taste?  I don’t know, but I also get it when I have Jolly Ranchers.).  But I wouldn’t kick either product out of the candy dish, that’s for sure.

    Tonight I shall find out how Cadbury’s Creamy Caramel Truffles stack up…

    Comment by Tara on 2/14/06 at 3:18 pm #
  10. I so thought about getting some Rolos today.
    But upon finding Caramello, I changed my mind:)
    Caramello is good! I also saw Hershey’s Mocha Almond for the first time and wondered what it would taste like. Have you tried it yet?

    Comment by luna on 2/14/06 at 6:44 pm #
  11. gotta chime in, i have always loved rolos!  (and they’re kosher!)  and those toffee almond hershey’s kisses were the best variety i’ve ever tasted.
    my valentine’s day candy haul was embarrassingly large. my loved ones all know the way to my heart! cybele, i am looking forward to your “why i am not fat” entry.  i wonder about that! i, too, eat tons of candy and wonder why i am not fat.

    Comment by rachel b. on 2/15/06 at 9:03 am #
  12. Shuna and others who love the salted caramel:

    For the best “Rolo” you’ll ever put in your mouth, you’ve gotta try these if you ever get up to Portland:  http://www.sahagunchocolates.com/

    On a recent visit, the chocolotier “apologized” that they weren’t quite ready, heading back to the kitchen to hand-pipe the fresh, warm salted caramel into its smooth, dark chocolate shell.  Topping it, of course, with one toasted hazelnut (see pic).

    Shuna, I’m guessing this one didn’t get by you on one of your many Portland food forays. They RULE!

    Comment by Jo on 2/17/06 at 11:03 am #
  13. I love this blog! As a looooong-time vegetarian (too hard for me to be a vegan because of the milk chocolate…) who keeps kosher, I look forward to the posts about candy I “can” eat. So thank you!

    Like some of the others who commented above me, I like a chewier caramel, hands down, mouth open! While I like caramel that’s mushy sometimes, the Hershey’s caramel kisses are too sweet inside and waaaaaay too runny…


    Comment by Karen on 2/20/06 at 9:41 pm #
  14. ROLO Should be at the topp of your list, next to Reed’s Cinnamon.  It is one of my favorite candies. Been buying it for about 25 years now.

    Comment by Joe Taylor on 8/24/06 at 8:08 am #
  15. Gosh, am I the only one who likes the Caramel Kisses? They fly out of the candy dish at work too! They are so easy to eat it’s embarassing.
    Cherry Kisses are good too. Has anyone tried the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Kisses? Gross! I had to give them to my mom.

    Comment by Suzanne on 4/16/07 at 4:55 pm #
  16. liek the rolos better.  my favorate canybar of ALL TIME was the Barnone. h my god, milk chocolate coating, wafers with sooth creamy FUDGE more wafters more FUDGE, and a good thick amount of chocolate on the bottom. Heaven. I havn’t had one for over 19 years as they discontinued it. *crys* I’ve never tasted anything close to it yet.*sniff*

    I actully don’t eat that much candy but when I do i’ll eather be a rolo or if i can find it a cookies and cream hersheys bar. Ummm the white cholate is just so creamy.

    I love those soft watermelon slices, not exactly gummy tho, softer then gummy. Very very good.

    Comment by gimiecandieeeee! on 6/14/07 at 5:55 pm #
  17. I think Rolos have been out even before 1971, my dad’s brother used to get them in the early ‘60s.

    Comment by Jen on 3/11/09 at 9:10 pm #
  18. You say the Rolo was introduced in 1971.  Maybe that is when an American company bought them out.  Rolos were originally imported from Europe (Switzerland, I think).  I first had them around 1955 or 1956 when they were sold in a local movie theater in Kansas.  Rolos are the one of the best tasting candies ever.

    Comment by SB on 6/04/09 at 4:00 pm #
  19. Hey I just tried rolo ice cream in canada while on a cruise.  It is hands down the best tasting ice cream in the world! I wish I could by it in Houston, Texas!  Does anyone know if you can order and have it sent to your house?  Pleas let me know

    Comment by Wende on 8/05/09 at 4:46 pm #
  20. rolo are beter then hersey carmel kisses!!!!!

    Comment by roxanne on 5/11/10 at 10:22 am #
  21. I like Heath and Skor better than Caramello and
    Rollo, and traditonal English Toffee is even better.

    Comment by Lee Scott on 2/25/11 at 4:04 pm #
  22. Yeah, but Heath and Skor are hard toffee not caramel. I once found a piece of pencil lead in a Heath Bar. True story.

    Comment by Suzanne on 2/25/11 at 5:36 pm #
  23. Trying to determine the ratio of chocolate to caramel when comparing the rolo to the caramel kiss. Any ideas?

    Comment by Andy on 5/23/12 at 8:03 am #
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